Tuesday, May 29, 2007

KWin effects config & another video

During the last days I've been working on making KWin's effects configurable from a KConfig module. Until now, if you wanted to enable/disable an effect, your only possibility was using DBus. DBus support is still there of course, but now you can alternatively use KPluginSelector widget (which got a nice makeover thanks to Rafael Fernandez Lopez aka ereslibre) which shows up among other KWin config modules when you RMB on window title and choose "Configure Window Behaviour".
Internally, KWin effects are now services, so we use ksycoca to get a list of them as well as find out in which library a given effect is. This made the code tiny bit simpler and might also result in some performance improvement.

Additionally, effects can now have their own config modules as well, so you can fine-tune them to your personal preference. ATM only two effects (shadow and presentwindows) are configurable, but more will certainly follow.

I wanted to make a video of config possibilites, but it evolved into a much longer video which briefly shows you how to enable compositing and how to choose and configure effects. It also shows some of the (IMHO) more important effects. The 6-minute video can be found at YouTube.
Update: there's also 16mb .avi with slightly better quality, but it's server could be slower than YouTube.

Finally, it looks like I've been added to Planet KDE :-)
If you're interested in more KWin stuff, you might want to check out my previous post as well.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

KWin videos, blur effect

Almost a week ago I added blur effect to KWin. It's purpose is to blur background of translucent windows to make text in such windows more readable. With standard translucency, if there's a window containing text below a translucent window, then the text in the translucent window is hardly readable. The effect blurs out fine details such as text, resulting in much better and usable transparency. While the background windows are blurred, they're still visible enough to see movement or changes, making transparency useful for e.g. monitoring activity of Konsole windows.

I've made two videos as well. First one (YouTube link, direct link) shows just a silly demo effect that applies some waves to your desktop. It's not physical simulation of liquid, though that would now be possible as well in case anyone's interested ;-)

The second one (YouTube, direct) shows the blur effect itself. Also note that in conjunction with the fade effect, which makes windows smoothly fade in/out when they're created/destroyed, it blurs out background of new windows when they fade in. It's subtle, but you can see it with menus in the video.

Update: added YouTube links for both videos.


Hello everyone.

Short introduction: I'm an Estonian student, soon finishing my first year in university. I've been involved in open-source development for several years, working on the Boson game in the past though unfortunately it's development has halted for now.

Since the beginning of this year I've been involved in KWin development, creating various compositing effects as well as separating effects interface into a library to support 3rd-party effects. Stay tuned for more KWin-related stuff soon.

Last but not least, I was accepted into Google's Summer of Code program and will be working on an icon cache, mentored by aseigo. The purpose of it is to make application startup faster by putting icons into cache which eliminates the need to search for them on the disk (there are many directories where the icons might be and searching through them takes time). Also it will act as SVG cache so that SVG icons can be used without having to convert them into raster format every time.

This blog will contain news about KWin, my GSoC project and anything else KDE-related that I might be working on in the future.